Cardiff Blues have announced that we will be called Cardiff Rugby from the 2021/22 season as history and heritage of the club is properly embraced for the first time since 2003.
Over the summer the ‘Blues’ moniker will be dropped and the nickname will once again be ‘the Blue and Blacks’, with the jersey adopting the famous colours and a new logo designed that acknowledges the club’s existence since 1876.
The decision follows a number of supporter surveys conducted over the last two years as well as engagement with supporters groups and sponsors, with the overwhelming desire being for a return to properly becoming Cardiff Rugby Football Club at the highest level of professional rugby.
Cardiff Rugby will continue to undertake regional responsibilities in the running of the regional development pathway, and the excellent community work done by the Community Foundation, but acknowledge that the club that plays in the Guinness Pro14 is a continuation of the club that played during the 2002/03 season.
As part of the shift, Cardiff RFC will become the traditional Rags next season, the club’s second XV, forming a key part of the development pathway in giving young players the chance to graduate from the Academy to the first team via the Indigo Group Premiership.
Speaking to the Cardiff Blues official website, chief executive Richard Holland said, “We see this change as a key step in the evolution of top-flight rugby in Cardiff. We are proud to embrace our rich heritage and history, which goes back more than 145 years, and encompasses greats of the game including Bleddyn Williams, Cliff Morgan, Gareth Edwards, Terry Holmes and Gethin Jenkins.
“Cardiff Rugby is a world-renowned brand and we simply have to leverage that to build sustainable success on and off the field. Not only is Cardiff globally recognised in rugby circles, it is also the commercial powerhouse of Wales and one of the fastest growing cities in the UK and Europe.
“Over a long period, our supporters and sponsors have been very clear that this is what they want and I am pleased that we have been able to respond to them in such a positive way, especially at a time when they have stood beside us.
“This is also the best way forward for the development of players, with much closer alignment between all of our teams and Cardiff RFC now returning to be the traditional ‘Rags’ to Cardiff Rugby. We are enormously excited to see what the future holds and look forward to seeing the blue and blacks run out at the iconic Arms Park, whether in the Regional Age Grade competitions, Indigo Group Premiership, Guinness PRO14 or European competition.
“We have a long-standing commitment to developing from within and have seen our representation at all levels grow. Ninety-five per cent of our senior squad is Welsh and almost 70 per cent are products of our rugby development pathway. We are continuing to invest with our biggest academy squad and there is fantastic work being done through the age-grades.
“Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, we were engaging with more than 50,000 people per year through our Community Foundation. This involves people of all ages and backgrounds, from Barry to Builth Wells, and we will continue to do this using the Cardiff Rugby brand.
“While there are still challenges to navigate due to the pandemic and further work to achieve our goals on and off the pitch, this is a hugely exciting time for Cardiff Rugby.”
Cardiff RFC chairman Chris Norman added, “As someone with a long association with Cardiff and Cardiff Rugby I am absolutely delighted to welcome this move. I see this as the continued evolution of the famous brand and Cardiff Rugby coming home with common sense prevailing.
“Cardiff Rugby is a global brand and has an unrivalled heritage, which belongs at the very top of the professional game. With our two teams now fully aligned, players can see a clear and enhanced pathway and I look forward to the Blue and Blacks flourishing at both a semi-professional and professional level.”